METHANE GAS TRAPPED BENEATH THE ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET
A new study shows that beneath the Antarctic ice sheet there are large amounts of organic matter that could be converted to methane by oxygen-deprived soil microbes. The scientists predict that over 21,000 billion metric tons of organic carbon resides below the ice sheet and that this is being metabolized into carbon dioxide and methane, two potent greenhouse gases. The research suggests that as the ice sheet melts, these gasses could be released into the atmosphere. The authors urge that more research be conducted into the Antarctic sedimentary basins.
CELLULAR BASIS FOR TEMPORARY HEARING LOSS.
As if you needed any more reason to become an otolaryngologist, a recent study finds that earphones are potentially as dangerous to your ears as Jet engines. Noises louder than 110 decibels can cause temporary deafness and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). However, researchers at the University of Leicester have observed cellular damage under these circumstances for the first time. They have found that exposure to sounds over 110 decibels strips nerve cells that send the sound signals to the brain of their coating, which can disrupt hearing. However, this coating can reform. Thus these effects can be temporary. This research gives doctors and scientists an understanding of how in certain cases hearing loss can be reversible, and this research could ultimately lead to new therapies in the treatment of hearing loss.